Lectures in a tent

Posted on February 25, 2020 by Jakob Maier ‐ 3 min read

Lectures in a tent

Interim lecture halls seem to be in fashion in Garching. While by definition these facilities were only meant to be used on an interim basis, we now have two permanently on campus. In the coming summer semester, we will have a revolutionary continuation: tents in front of the MW building (mechanical engineering).

The two giant auditoriums just to the left when entering the MW building are being renovated for fire protection and therefore the students will move into the tents on the 20th of April 2020. Yes, you have heard correctly, two giant tents will be erected in front of the MW. These tents are of the type “Tentomax”, which according to Mr. Google will look like a circus tent. Only with professors instead of clowns and blackboards instead of fire rings. The cover picture above is an example of such a tent at TU Brunswick, which was on campus for one semester. In contrast, according to the plan of the TUM facility management, the two circus tents are elongated and form an L together, which you can see on the following plan. The location of the tent is framed in black.

Plan of how the tent is going to be placed

As you can see, there is no space left for events in front of the MW building - especially if a fire brigade car is supposed to fit there in case of an emergency. Luckily, Glühnix takes place in winter!

After a brief moment of amazement, panic sets in among passionate students: can I still listen to my favorite lectures in the summer semester? Won’t it be hot and stuffy in the circus tent? Even hotter and stuffier than usual?

Fortunately, there is no reason to worry and TUM has thought of everything. The tents are heated and air-conditioned, and they may even have a good ventilation system. Should the latter not be the case, there are still lecture recordings. Another apparently innovative feature are the projection screens between the rows of seats. In short, the tents are like the good old MW lecture halls, only even cooler. Lectures and even exams will take place in there, just as usual. They have also thought about the latter - during the exam phase, toilet containers are set up in front of the tents to save you time in stressful TUM classes. Last but not least, the tents are sufficiently accessible - with wheelchair seating and inductive hearing loops.

All in all, it sounds like an exciting summer semester! Who has not always wanted to have lectures in a tent? So don’t be surprised if in April there’s a number next to the lecture venue that you’ve never seen before. Tents deserve their own lecture hall number.

What I’m personally curious about is whether the tents will ever be taken down again. Probably in a year’s time another tent will be added, then Edeka will open a circus tent on campus and at some point, a camping site will be added as a dormitory. There should be a reason why it is called “Campus”!

Picture source: https://www.subway.de/images/subway/Magazin/Campus/2019-03/C-TUBS_1901_HOE_Aufbau-Zelt_004-art.png